JK Rowlings researches Sikhism in depth for her next novel
Generally, one has seen Sikhs being treated with various emotions – fear, derision, anger from unknown – outside India specifically. In the books and movies coming from the West, Indians in general and Sikhs in particular, are always caricatured. So it is nice to learn that writer of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowlings has spent a lot of time researching Sikh Culture and Religion before incorporating it in her next book – The Casual Vacancy.
As per people who know, it seems that the book has delved on Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Granth Sahib, Khalsa Panth, and the “night-time prayer, kirtan sohila.” in quite detail.
Struck by the egalitarian principles of Sikhism, she has incorporated Sikh religious details in her story and characters.
“I wanted the Sikh family at the heart of Pagford, and I wanted them to be second generation Britons. So they are insiders and outsiders simultaneously. In the book, it is Sikhism that provides religious morality, not the Church of England, which is represented by an empty church,” Rowling said.
I believe it is time that Sikhs, instead of swinging between feelings of greatness at being different or being defensive about looking different, spend time on sharing what really are the central precepts of Sikhism with the world at large. Spiritual principles shared by the Sikh Gurus are beautiful. They need to be shared with the world. It is time that credible Spiritual minds in the Sikh community dip into the treasure trove left behind by the 10 Gurus to the benefit of the world.
As a result, maybe the Sikhs can differentiate themselves from Osama Bin Laden or the Jehadis, that uninformed people keep alleging they look like with a turban and beards.